The ‘Refrigerants, Naturally! for LIFE’ project, supported by the EU LIFE Program and HEAT GmbH, aims to accelerate the uptake of climate-friendly Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heat Pump (RACHP) equipment in small-store food retail applications. To that end, the project is seeking market input from shop owners and contractors in an online survey to create a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities in this sector.
“Currently, no reliable data exists about the use of RACHP, or on user needs in the Organic Food Retail (OFR)/small food retail sector,” explained Pauline Bruge of shecco, Project Manager at shecco for the Refrigerants, Naturally! for LIFE project. There is a necessity to get a better understanding of small-shop owners’ needs, the status quo, as well as future RACHP technology trends used by the OFR sector, small supermarkets (up to 1,000m²/10,764ft2 sales area) and other food markets across Europe, she said.
That is where the Refrigerants, Naturally! for LIFE Project, which has received funding from the European Union’s LIFE Program, comes into play. The project consortium, led by HEAT GmbH, consists of eight partners across Europe, including representatives from organic food associations, experts, technicians, and shecco (publisher of this website). They are seeking active participation from individual (organic) food retailers, supermarket chains, RACHP servicing companies, training providers, system and component suppliers, NGOs and other stakeholders that want to promote the shift to climate-friendly cooling.
Stores selling food have a 50% higher energy usage than other commercial buildings, according to the project’s website. Refrigeration makes up to 30-50% of total energy in a store and therefore is a large contributor to a food retailer’s overall environmental impact.
Participate in the online market survey
The survey for shop owners will help the project understand the options and motivation for the future introduction of new energy-efficient and low-GWP equipment in these sectors. Based on the survey results, shop owners will be provided with a tool to benchmark energy and GHG emission performances for their appliances. The survey is available in English, German and Spanish. Access online survey for shop owners here
A second survey for contractors and servicing companies will help the project comprehend the nature and scope of RACHP technicians working in OFR/small food market segments. The findings will provide a clear picture of the trends in servicing and refrigerant-use patterns and also give an overview on the general awareness of using environmentally friendly refrigerants among RACHP technicians. The survey is available in English, German and Spanish. Access online survey for servicing companies / contractors here
Find out more about the Refrigerants, Naturally! for LIFE project